Crime And Punishment Page-172

Crime And Punishment

and mine for drink! And thank God he’s dying! One less to keep!” “You must forgive in the hour of death, that’s a sin, madam, such feelings are a great sin.” Katerina Ivanovna was busy with the dying man; she was giving him water, wiping the blood and sweat from his head, setting his pillow straight, and had only turned now and then for a moment to address the priest. Now she flew at him almost in a frenzy. “Ah, father! That’s words and only words! Forgive! If he’d not been run over, he’d have come home to-day drunk and his only shirt dirty and in rags and he’d have fallen asleep like a log, and I should have been sousing and rinsing till daybreak, washing his rags and the children’s and then drying them by the window and as soon as it was daylight I should have been darning them. That’s how I spend my nights!... What’s the use of talking of forgiveness! I have forgiven as it is!” A terrible hollow cough interrupted her words. She put her handkerchief to her lips and showed it to the priest, pressing her other hand to her aching chest. The handkerchief was covered with blood. The priest bowed his head and said nothing. Marmeladov was in the last agony; he did not take his eyes off the face of Katerina Ivanovna, who was bending over him again. He kept trying to say something to her; he began moving his tongue with difficulty and articulating indistinctly, but Katerina Ivanovna, understanding that he wanted to ask her forgiveness, called peremptorily to him: “Be silent! No need! I know what you want to say!” And the sick man was silent, but at the same instant his wandering eyes strayed to the doorway and he saw Sonia. Till then he had not noticed her: she was standing in the shadow in a corner. “Who’s that? Who’s that?” he said suddenly in a thick gasping voice, in agitation, turning his eyes in horror towards the door where his daughter was standing, and trying to sit up. “Lie down! Lie do-own!” cried Katerina Ivanovna. With unnatural strength he had succeeded in propping himself on his elbow. He looked wildly and fixedly for some time on his daughter, as though not recognising her. He had never seen her before in such attire. Suddenly he recognised her, crushed and ashamed in her humiliation and gaudy finery, meekly awaiting her turn to say good-bye to her dying father. His face showed